Do You Make These 5 Common Landscape Plantings Mistakes On Your Victorville Landscaping Project?

Aside from bringing change in weather, fall has been an ideal season when people go on a landscaping project or lawn remodeling spree. Most of us are planning to have our landscaping project started or upgrade existing lawn to give this season a fantastic welcome – and have a blast in spring.

Also, landscaping entails a new chapter of our lives and a more positive vibe. This is why everyone is excited to get started on the lawn transformation project. However, along with this, there are various potential drawbacks that might be encountered by anyone, including you. No matter how much effort you put into it, still mistakes arise on the occasion because of some factors that trigger it.

In developing a plan for your landscaping project, you have to include the possibilities that there will be errors along the way, but, as much as possible it should be dodged. For most of us, the entire landscape and garden are the most important space. It is where the magic of colorful and lush backdrop and you don’t want to invest on something that would eventually turn into trash, right?

In full measure, you want your dream landscaping to be perfect, specifically the planting phase. Well then, you have to carefully lay out a plan and ponder on the things that are deemed to be most relevant. Be careful in every step and avoid possible pitfalls. To help you out with it, five common landscape planting mistakes you should be aware of.

 

#1: Excessive Planting

Alright, when we speak of landscaping, it doesn’t mean that you just have to plant excessively without thinking about how it would look like or a plan prior to it. Digging and planting is not as simple as it may seem – certainly, you can’t just plant anything, everywhere you want. For example, planting small trees too close to shrubs for the main reason of giving it an instant mature look. Well, this is a very bad idea because when these trees and shrubs grow, it’ll end up as a crowded landscaping. This situation can be dealt with proper planting and having a well-designed plan beforehand.

• What is the proper way of planting?

In order to avoid overcrowding, you have to determine the mature size of plants you’re going to cultivate and give them room for growth. Temporarily, you can fill the spaces with annuals that thrive in high desert soil specifically in Victorville. Choose the perfect location to plant your seeds, shrubs or flowers and keep them hydrated properly. You can plant in rows, or in a definite pattern.

• Well-designed plan

Now, we’ve mentioned several times that you just can’t plant anywhere you want. Hence, it’s paramount that you should start with a well-designed plan and follow it accordingly in order to avoid excessive planting. Draw your plan on a graph paper, mark columns, rows or patterns for you to follow when you start digging and planting.

 

#2: Cluttered Lawn Areas

Most people ignore the idea of having an organized lawn areas, especially when trees are concerned. Scattered trees all over the lawn are not appealing at all and it only represents the fact that there was no thorough planning done at all. Now, trees should be placed appropriately as well as shrubs and flowers.

Pile up some stones or bricks around the trees when you add mulch to avoid debris from scattering. When it comes to trees, a decision in haste can lead to a lifetime of regret. Hence, you SHOULD take the time to plan its location and how to select the best trees.

 

#3: Neglect Of Turf Care

When you’re ready to give everything to your landscaping project, the responsibility to take good care of your turf comes with it. Remember, turf care plays a crucial role in the overall impact of your landscaping, in fact, it’s part of the planting task that you have to pay attention to. Of course, you have to determine what type of lawn seed to plant in our back yard. In this phase, you have to consider climate, the wind, and soil type.

 

• What’s the Best Grass For High Desert Landscaping?
There are four types of grass that thrive and grow well in high desert soil, including Victorville, namely:

1. Zoysia Grass – this grass type is flexible, slow growing, and is highly drought tolerant.
2. Bermuda Grass – reacts well to watering, highly drought tolerant, but needs lots of mowing.
3. Fescue – this grass type is a cool season grass which is also considered to have a high tolerance to drought and absorbs water well after drought.
4. Buffalo Grass – this is a warm season grass but tolerates cold. This grass type is also highly drought tolerant.

• Proper Lawn Maintenance
After selecting the best grass type, it’s imperative that you give your lawn a tender, loving, care by observing the following:

1. Loosening soil with use of proper aerator or aeration procedures
2. Adding fertilizer
3. Spreading mulch
4. Raking leaves
5. De-thatching
6. Proper Irrigation and Efficient Watering System

 

#4: Too Tall Plants And Shrubs

When plants, trees, and shrubs mature, they tend to grow tall that they cover windows and no longer enhance curb appeal or add interest to it. Aside from that, plants and shrubs that tend to grow tall shadow plants near it, making others compete for light and other nutrients. If you think that shearing is the best way to control the height, you’re wrong. On the contrary, this procedure weakens and disfigures shrubs.

In order to avoid committing this mistake, here are steps you can do:
• Choose plants, shrubs or trees that would best fit the location in your landscaping. Determine its size and height when they mature.
• Selectively clip stray shoots to keep the plant neat, full and open.
• To help reduce competition tall plants create, consistent pruning is a must. If not, you can also remove plants.

Furthermore, you have to observe the policies, standards, and regulations implemented in the city ordinance of Victorville in terms of landscaping.

 

#5: Cramped Looking Plants

Have you ever seen a cramped-looking landscape? A landscape with unorganized, unattractive, nonfunctional and unfriendly planting is how to describe it. This is not just a mistake but a total nightmare for those who remodels their landscaping or starts a new one, including you. Cramped-looking plants may also be a safety and/or fire hazard or damage the foundation especially in the high desert community, as well as Victorville.

Instead, plant in small, irregular clusters or islands. Also, include a variety of plant types and species in your landscape. This technique is best for Victorville or any other districts that belong in the high desert community to avoid potential brush fires.

 

Overall, landscaping projects need proper planning especially in terms of planting just as much as you plan for the entire renovation of your property, may it be exterior or interior. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can opt not to hire professional contractors. However, for optimum results and guaranteed-safe landscaping project, it’s best to hire a credible Victorville landscaping company.

If you wish to have a beautiful and efficient landscaping makeover, then don’t cheap out. Leave the work to those who have ample experience and skills and just wait patiently. After that, you can marvel at the beauty of your new and improved landscaping project!

5 Effective Ways To Save Money On Your Reno Landscaping Project

The fall season has meant a lot of things for us:  relaxation, beginning of school, a new chapter of school, and a chance to start your landscaping project. Have you already made a plan for it? Or do your already have a sketch of how you want it to look like? In terms of a landscaping project, what worries us most is the budget – it really makes a huge impact in planning and construction.

Yes, when it comes to landscaping, you want to achieve your dream design but then again you fear that it will bust your budget, hence you end up changing the design instead. Then, sometimes, other people end up compromising quality just to meet the budget (which is not a good thing). Hiring landscapers in Reno, Nevada to do that job would cost you more but that’s for a good reason. Let the experts do the job, collaborate with them and state what you want.

The question you might probably have is, “how can I save money”? Landscaping projects can be pricey and you know that, however, it is not impossible to save money along the way. If you’re thinking of cheaping out, scratch it! Buying cheap materials will not guarantee a safe and beautiful effect, it’ll just turn out ordinary. Plus. If it’s low quality, you’re more likely to spend more in replacing it.

What you have to do is strategic planning: thoroughly think about the design, consider your budget, materials and ways to cut costs without cutting corners. If you’re eager to start your dream landscaping project, you can do so by finding creative ways to work within your budget. Here are five tips that you can consider for your project.

 

  1. Be Efficient, Maximize Space.

You can reorganize or rearrange the plants, shrubs, trees and other features in your garden or lawn in order to maximize space. There’s no need to add extra space that will cost you more, instead, you can turn it into something great while giving the illusion that it is bigger than it really is. Here are some design ideas you could use to achieve this:

  • Grow plants vertically in order to increase the scale of space.
  • Create different levels of interest by breaking up the entire space into smaller rooms.
  • Give your space the illusion of being bigger by creating a view along the diagonal of the yard. Try adding tile patterns to extend the dimensions.
  • Use focal points and incorporate it into rules of perspective. Add accents with containers full of blooming annuals or perennials.

Reno’s climate is mostly sunny, hence, you can make use of the natural light to add effects that can make your space look bigger.

  1. Lighten The Mood

Bring a better mood into your front or back yard by adding lighting to your landscaping project. Illuminating your exterior using outdoor lighting to highlight landscape design is a great addition not only to increase aesthetics but also curb appeal.

However, before you finalize your decision in installing it, you have to determine the purpose of doing so, whether you want to set a cozy mood after the sun sets or you just want to brighten the shadowy part of your yard. Now, one way to save money is to use LED landscape lighting. Moreover, in purchasing the lighting to be used, you have to consider these:

  • Lifespan – LED lights have longer lifetime system compared to other halogen systems, hence, you can cut down cost on maintenance and replacement of bulbs.
  • Energy – the energy conservation of LED lights, which uses low voltage will certainly aid in saving money.
  • Safety – LED lighting is more energy efficient, they radiate less heat, making the fixtures the safest choice for your landscape.

In Reno, LED lights are safer since rotating search lights or any animated lights (which are mostly halogens) are prohibited in any district, hence, you can avoid any violations from the municipal office. Exterior lighting installation has to undergo approval and inspection from the municipal authorities. Also, low pressure sodium lighting should not be used.

  1. Price Match

As what we have said, you don’t have to cheap out. In choosing or looking for materials, you can always compare the price of the items. For example, you are looking for a mulch or artificial turf, all you have to do is conduct a survey whether which store sells the same type of mulch or artificial mulch but with a lesser price.

Other stores may have different names to call it but you can always look carefully. Might as well wait for seasonal discounts and sales in order to save more money.

Don’t be shy to ask for discounts or shop more when the store is on sale, it’s your way of saving up. Also, purchasing mulch in bulk can save you the trip to the store and it will cost lesser compared to buying in retail.

Plus, it’s important that you determine the plants that flourish in Reno soil before spending money on purchasing. Like choosing the perfect grass type for your lawn such as Bermuda grass, Perennial Rye grass, Kentucky Blue grass and Fescue Mix.

 

  1. Break It Down

Don’t get overwhelmed with your landscaping project and do it all at once. Divide each job into smaller tasks especially when you are planning. For example, you’re planning for edge around walks, flower beds, and walls – you have to do it one task at a time.

The reason for this is for you not to lose track of what you’re doing. In that way, you can keep your budget within reach as well as you can achieve the dream landscaping you desire.

Doing the project all at once could lead to common landscaping pitfalls and in the end, you’ll end up spending money in repairs. Whether you go for DIY or hire experienced contractors, it’s always better to do this.

Now, before you start making any fences or building walls for your landscaping project, it’s necessary that you comply building permits and required documents from the local planning and division office. Also, according to Reno Municipal Code, the use of razor ribbon or razor tape fencing is prohibited, except in coincidence with a jail or other public detention or correctional facility.

 

  1. Do-It-Yourself

Now, if you really want to save up, you can start your landscaping project on your own – do as much DIY as you could possibly do. It all depends on your creativity as well as how handy you are. This can be a very time-consuming task to do but not impossible.

You can check the library for do-it-yourself books, or watch videos on how to do the simple tasks involved in your landscaping project. Aside from that, you can refer to photos for the design and colors that you want to apply to your design. Through this, you can keep your money aside because you will no longer have to pay for the contractor for the extra job.

 

Landscaping indeed requires adequate planning for all the things to come into order. This fall season is the perfect time to start your dream project and consider these money-saving tips. Furthermore, it’s an ideal time to start planting for your garden so that it’ll be blooming when spring comes.

Few other reminders: never trust an inexperienced landscape contractor to do your projects because you are just putting yourself and your family in danger. Yes, you can go for DIY renovations but not in everything, there is stuff that must be done by professionals.

There are also things that need to be done by experts such as the installation of landscape lighting; for this, you might want to seek help because if you mess up, it’ll take a lot of money to fix it up. After you have everything put together, voila! You have you dream landscaping project without spending much.

 

 

 

Fall Landscaping Secrets: 7 Things You Should Know About Proper Lawn Care In Reno

Did you know that the best way to ensure a thick, green, and healthy lawn in the spring is to give it some proper care in the fall? Yep, that’s right – lawn care experts can say a BIG yes to that. If you think that the end of summer is also the end of maintaining your lawn, then you’re definitely wrong.

It doesn’t mean that when it’s autumn, your lawn requires lesser care, in fact, just the opposite true, especially in Reno. Fall is an ideal time to prepare your lawn for the next spring and since fall is already upon us, then you better start giving your lawn the tender, loving care that it needs.

Furthermore, you might be asking why? Well, here’s the explanation. When fall comes, the grass in your lawn is actively absorbing energy, moisture, and nutrients in preparation for a long, dormant winter.

So, don’t make the most common mistake among domestic lawns or landscapes, instead, learn the expert ways to make your landscaping successful. All the more, you should start paying attention to what you have to do this season. No worries, here are the seven secrets you ought to do to properly take good care of your lawn this fall.

 

  1. Rake The Leaves

raking-leavesThis season, a lot of leaves will certainly fall on your lawn – it may look like a good addition to color, but it’s not. Raking the leaves doesn’t even scream fun, but you have to do it as often as you can. Fallen leaves block the light and trap moisture which will affect the growth of your turf underneath. Besides, Reno is known to have 252 days of sunshine on average, and certainly you wouldn’t want your turf or lawn to miss that.

Aside from that, if the leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew, it will turn into a soggy mat that will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases that will lead to the death of the grass as well as other plants around it. So, don’t wait for the leaves to pile up – rake them immediately and avoid decaying mat to cause any harm.

 

  1. Aerate The Soil

aerate-soilFall is also an ideal time to loosen your soil and let it breathe. Doing aeration once every couple of years allows water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil faster. If not, your soil will form become compressed and covered with a layer of thatch (excessive accumulation of dead organic matter on your lawn such as stems, roots, and leaves, etc.) which will hinder all the nourishment that your lawn needs.

In order to do this, you can manually a border fork into the soil, or use a hollow Tiner, which pulls out plugs of soil. On the other hand, if you prefer to do it in a faster way, you can rent or purchase a gas-powered, walk-behind lawn aerator.

 

  1. Fill In Thin Or Bald Spots

lawn-bald-spotsDid you see any thin or bald spots in your lawn recently? Then fill them up this fall. One way to do this is to reseed your lawn to make it dense. After aerating your soil, it’s best to start spreading seed to your existing turf this fall because the ground is still warm, it’s not so hot during the day, moisture is ample and the nights are cool.

Using a garden rake, loosen the soil at the thin or bald spot in your lawn then spread certified seeds (almost purely grass seed with very little weed seeds and no fillers) or you can opt for lawn repair mixtures, just check and ask local garden shops for these.

Now, one of the most effective techniques to cure bald spots is reseeding. For this procedure, you have to use the right type of grass considering the climate and soil in Reno. According to experts, the best choice is Perennial Rye Grass which grows fast in the spring and fall. There are other good options such as Bermuda grass, Fescue Grass and Kentucky Blue grass. What’s common with these grass types? They’re all highly drought tolerant and can withstand the heat, specifically the climate in Reno which is mostly sunny.

You can plant Bermuda in spring and reseed with Perennial Rye in fall. Or, you can opt for other grass types we’ve mentioned previously and reseed using the same grass.

 

  1. Don’t Slack On Watering

sprinklerNow, after you have done tips #2 and #3, the next thing you have to do is to continue watering your lawn. Watering is essential for the grass to flourish especially after reseeding your soil. When the temperature gets cooler, it’s paramount to keep the grass roots and all evergreens sufficiently watered in order to avoid dehydration in the winter which is why regular watering is required.

To do this, you can install sprinklers or irrigation system and keep them working until the end of October. You should only stop watering your lawn when the ground freezes, regardless of the snowfall that you anticipate. On average, Reno is receiving .08 inches of precipitation during fall which is why you still have to water your lawn once or twice to keep it hydrated before winter comes. It’s best to water one day a week, tapering off to every other week and might as well  check your irrigation system often for leaks, breaks in the line and broken sprinkler heads.

Note: TMWA (Truckee Meadows Water Authority) holds irrigation workshops each year for free which aims to assist customers with system start up, setting controllers for weather – wise watering. You can attend to these workshops and be aware of proper irrigation.

 

  1. Fertilize The Soil

spreading-fertilizerIn as much as your lawn needs watering, it also requires nourishment by fertilizing. Experts reveal that the ideal time of year to fertilize your lawn is during fall. It is because the grass roots grow quickly during this season hence, application of fertilizer aids in root growth, disease protection, drought tolerance, and cold resistance. Aside from that, it also keeps nutrients in reserve just in time for the next spring.

Apply the fertilizers evenly and make sure that the quantity is just right: don’t overdo or underdo it. Be mindful as well of the waterways in your area when you fertilize your lawn, make sure to maintain at least a 5-foot buffer in order to avoid contamination.

If you applied fertilizer in the fall, you don’t need to fertilize until May. Now, in choosing the fertilizer, it has to contain balanced nutrients and you have to check the label. Nitrogen, phosphorous and magnesium are just three of the most important content of the fertilizer you should choose.

 

  1. Get Rid Of Weeds

weed-controlAlright, even if the temperature drops and the weather get colder, weeds are still as annoying as ever. Weeds compete with the grass in your lawn in terms of absorbing nutrients, energy, and water, and that’s not good in keeping your lawn healthy.

Landscape professionals suggest that keeping a dense lawn is one of the most effective ways to keep the weeds out and you can ensure that by following all the steps that we’ve mentioned previously. Aside from that, you can also get rid of weeds using herbicides – just make sure that you read and understand the instructions found on the label. Or, you can do it naturally, which is preferable in order not to affect the grass.

 

  1. Keep On Mowing

lawn-mower-Regardless of the cold temperature, you have to continue mowing your lawn. If you let the grass blades grow too long, it’ll shade other blades around them as well as competing to get enough amount of sunlight. Keep your grass at an ideal 2½- to 3-inch height so there is enough surface area for the sun to shed its rays.

This will avoid grass from turning brown or withering during winter. To do this, simply lower your blades one notch, or set the blades at the lowest mowing height recommended for your grass type. Almost all of the grass that grow in Reno are cool season grass, which grows taller than warm season grass, hence, two- to three-inch deep mowing heights are recommended for these grasses such as: bluegrass, fescues and ryegrass.

Remember, always use a sharp blade when mowing your lawn and never mow wet grass. You can leave grass clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil. Reno soil is mostly heavy, tight clay soils devoid of organic matter and nutrients. Hence, the more organic matter you apply to your lawn, the better. You can also pile up the grass clipping along with dried leaves, animal manure, and other organic materials to make a compost.

 

Overall, following the steps we mentioned above will certainly put you on the right track in preparing your lawn for spring. Regardless of which city or state you are in, or if you’re in Reno, these tricks are guaranteed to provide positive results. Expert landscapers in Reno, Nevada suggest that your lawn health plays a crucial role in landscaping and gardening which is why it is of utmost importance that you shouldn’t slack in taking care of it. So, if you’re planning to start a landscaping project, autumn is also a good time for it. Before you start worrying, don’t hesitate to ask landscaping professionals for the best ideas.

Grow Natural Nail Remedies In Your Garden: 7 Essential Herbs That Promotes Nail Health

The eyes are the windows to the soul – that is ultimately true. Another truth is that your nails reflect your general state of health. Oh yes, people often take their nails for granted without knowing that it plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. Discoloration, change in shape or thickness, pain, and bleeding are actually symptoms that signal nail problems and it shouldn’t be ignored.

Moreover, how much do you know about your nails? Let me share a few facts with you. Your fingernails grow an average of 3.5 millimeters per month, while your toenails grow an average of 1.6 millimeters per month. Nails on your dominant hand tend to grow faster than the other. Also, nails are not bones, it’s actually made out of the same stuff as your hair which is keratin. Meaning, if you’re eating super-foods to promote good hair, then it works the same way on your nails, and vice versa. Aside from that, experts suggest that natural way is the best approach in maintaining good nail health and providing the care required to avoid any problems.

Now, do you have a green thumb or have that passion for gardening? Well then my friend, the time is right for you to start growing organic remedies to stimulate good nail health. Here are herbs that can do the magic.

1. Horsetail

horsetailSince the Ancient and Greek times, Horsetail has been considered an effective herb for nail growth. It is a great source of calcium silica and other essential minerals which are relevant in treating dry or brittle nails. All you have to do is soak your nails in a Horsetail infusion for ten minutes every day. You can make this infusion by combining a tablespoon of Horsetail herb with two cups of boiling water. Let it cool for twenty minutes or until the temperature is comfortable enough.

2. Rosemary

rosemaryRosemary is widely recognized as an incredible spice that adds up flavors to various dishes. Unknown to many, it promotes stronger and healthier nails. Aside from that, its oil is also a great aid in dealing with nail fungus as well as moisturizing the skin around the nails. Rosemary oil helps treat nail fungus and at the same time, it restores the nail structure that has been affected by the said fungus. To make the oil, you just need the leaves and once you have it, you can do the extraction at home.

3. Stinging Nettle

stinging-nettleStinging nettle is also one of the oldest remedies which promote nail health and growth. It contains silica, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, D & K. Stinging nettle helps strengthen nails which prevent the occurrence of brittle nails. Drinking a cup of nettle tea every day is all you need. To make the tea, here’s what you have to do:

• In a cup of hot water, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried stinging nettle leaves.
• Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes.
• Strain and add some honey or sugar to taste.

4. Flax

flax-seedFlax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and valuable fiber which stimulates nail strength and growth. It also helps the nail plate develop properly and keeps your nail from splitting, cracking, drying or brittleness. It’s also a great source of micronutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, lecithin, and zinc which are all important in maintaining overall nail health. Rubbing Flax seed oil on your nails twice a day is all it takes.

5. Sage

sageSage leaves have a good reputation in maintaining bone density and aiding nervous system function. However, its health benefits are not only limited to that. Sage leaves are used to make the tea that promotes hair and nail growth. It is rich in micronutrients and minerals that the nails require growing stronger, such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and essential vitamins.

Here’s how to make the tea:
• Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
• Remove from heat and add sage leaves in the water.
• Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
• Strain. Pour it in a cup and add lemon or honey if desired.

Once you have these herbs in your garden, you no longer have to worry about your nail health. You can even incorporate nutrient-rich foods to fully achieve it. This is really beneficial especially to girls. With healthy nails, you can style it whatever you want or whenever you want, may it be with nail art, stickers or nail wraps, especially this holiday season – a time when parties or events are just around the corner. Healthy nails won’t easily brittle or crack even when styled, no worries. Of course, you’d want to show off flashy nails this festive season, right? So, you better consider growing these herbs and say hello to the holidays!

Few Things About Oregano Seeds and Herb Gardens

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Oregano is an aromatic plant native to the Mediterranean area. It can be used fresh or dry in foods, salads or as a natural remedy (gastrointestinal or respiratory problems).

The plant likes to grow in places with a lot of sun, but it also can be grown indoor in pots as long as it receives enough light. Oregano needs bright light, so when it is cultivated indoors it should be kept near eastern or southern window (but with filtered light in the afternoon).

It needs to be watered regularly but not excessively; the soil shouldn’t dry out between waterings, but even if it does, this will not cause any harm because oregano is very resistant to drought.

The soil must be aerated, well drained. If needed, use a diluted liquid fertilizer.

Oregano is multiplied by seeds, cuttings or seedlings if you want to have it all the timet.

The organically grown herb seeds germinate hard. A healthy plant will quickly consume the soil from the pot, so it’s possible that it needs to be transfered into a larger pot. Transfer should be done at about 6 months, if needed. The pot needs to have up to 6 inches diameter.

The oregano leaves can be used fresh, but they do not have a very intense flavor, so they have to be dried as the aroma is stronger. They can be stored in sealed jars.

The taste is slightly bitter and the flavor is complex, with a spicy-bitter touch.

At the beginning of autumn, oregano is in full splendor, all good to harvest and laid out to dry. Harvest in nice, warm weather, between morning and midday, after disappearing the last drops of dew.

Cut 9 inch sprigs with scissors or a knife, and let them dry in thin layers, in a well ventilated room. Turn the plants on the other side 2-3 times daily, otherwise they blacken and lose the aroma and healing qualities. Drying mistakes lead to decomposition of the vitamin C, and the loss of nearly all of the essential oil that evaporates pretty quickly.

It can be used successfully, both to flavor oils and vinegars as well as salads.

Its aroma is suitable for any kind of cheese and steak, grilled meat, meat and pasta sauces. Adding it to egg preparations make them more appetizing and digestible.

Butter rubbed with oregano leaves is excellent in combination with boiled fish, rice with scallops or crayfish and sauteed vegetables. It is best associated with broccoli and other green plants, carrots, zucchini, lentils, potatoes and tomatoes.

Together with basil oregano is characteristic to Italian cuisine. Pasta sauce will receive a special taste if you add oregano.

Pizza is the most known oregano dish, which made it famous and universally known.

Moreover, oregano is considered indispensable in Mediterranean cuisine, as in the Mexican one. Its popularity is due to the fact that it enhances the taste of the tomato soup, beans, grilled sirloin, roasted lamb, salads and other shrimp dishes, cooked in typical spicy style of the Mediterranean area.

How to Make the Most Out of a Small Garden Space

Who wouldn’t love to have their own version of the secret garden or a miniature replica of The Garden of Versailles in their own backyard?

Most of us do want to have that magical and peaceful sanctuary even at the back of our homes but some of us can’t achieve it simply because our place is too small to accommodate our chosen landscape setting.

Many garden design books have shared tips on how to achieve that dream garden – the principles, rules and elements that all contribute into creating a really wonderful garden you can be proud of. However, most tips provided are only applicable for those who have a huge space to work on.

Gardening in a small space has many limitations but it shouldn’t be a hindrance in transforming a small piece of land into a landscape masterpiece. The key is just to use the available space and use it well.

The advantages of having a small garden include the following:

You can give attention to every garden detail

Having a small garden can actually give the gardener a chance to fully explore the depths of the garden. You can give full attention because you don’t need to check on a very large space and every area can be checked even just in a short period of time.

You can keep up with the maintenance

Maintaining a garden can be very hard at times, especially when you’re on a budget. Having a small garden lessens the chances of having to spend too much on garden maintenance. Instead of spending a lot of money maintaining the garden, you can invest instead on more pieces or ideas that can further improve and beautify the garden.

You can make it as an entertainment or leisure space

Having a small garden in your backyard can actually give you that quiet space you will eventually need. Having a large garden requires a lot of work but a small space for a garden can provide you leisure while you tend to it personally, without having the need to hire gardeners, lawn-mowers and a large creative team for its landscape because you can all do it on your own.

The real task in making the most out of your small garden space, however, is to face the challenge of landscaping that comes with it.

Making choices of what to accommodate

Having a limited space also means having to choose what elements to include in your garden. You can have everything in a very small space so you have to choose carefully what plants to include, what garden ornaments to put, and among other decisions, you have to make to ensure that your garden may be small but it won’t be trashy.

Your garden is seen as a whole

Having a small garden means that people can see whatever is in it in a glance. Visitors don’t have to explore too far just to see what plants and elements you have included on your garden and so, the challenge lies on having people see your garden as a whole, including all of its compositions. So you really have to be careful not to miss on certain things that can really destroy the balance of your small garden space.

Every feature should serve a purpose

Every little part of the garden must have a purpose why it was included there because nothing should ever go to waste on your small garden space. So ignore that impulse to buy a plant or a garden ornament, thinking you will just find a place for it just to have. Every acquisition must have a purpose.

So, having that limited garden space should not hinder you from having a landscape masterpiece. Instead, you should take it as a challenge – a challenge to go out of the box and make the most out of your small garden space.

What to Consider in Buying Plants for Small Gardens

So you want to have that dream garden but don’t have the luxury of space? You want to have a magical and peaceful sanctuary even at the back of your home but can’t decide well what to include in your garden because you have so little space?

Well, the difficulty of the problem actually lies in choosing the plants you will actually include in your garden. You really need to choose the best plants that would serve their purpose in your garden and not just simply decide what plants to have on an impulse and without proper discernment.

Before you decide to buy plants or plant those needed things in your dream garden, you need to come up with a checklist or a guide for you to be able to choose wisely and for you to achieve the transformation of your small piece of land into a landscaping masterpiece.

Does it suit your budget?

Maintaining a small garden should be less costly than its bigger counterparts and so, you should have that idea of not having to spend more on the less space that you have. You have to check whether you have the budget for the plants you will buy or whether you have what it takes economically speaking to maintain them.

Does it suit your planned design?

If you plan on having that Zen garden style incorporated in your garden, then it is only proper that you buy plants that are also related to your theme. Buying plants that don’t actually suit your garden style might destroy the balance and the overall composition of your garden and so you must be careful in conceptualizing what style you want to incorporate, more so, be more careful on what plants to include.

Does it fit in the size of your garden?

Having a small garden also means choosing to put small plants or plants that won’t appear oversized in your little space. The challenge of putting up with a small space lies in having to position your plants accordingly without making your garden look cluttered. And so, the size of the plant you must buy must also be in sync with the size of your garden.

Does it have to be so colorful?

You can start with choosing plants according to three color classifications only. Do you plan on having a garden dominated by red, yellow and white? Then choose plants that would also be classified in your color preferences. Having a theme is so much better because you can break down what kinds of plants you can actually put and there won’t be too much diversity. Too much diversity on your color preferences will make your garden look cluttered and less refined. Instead of having a wonderful display, you might just end up having a garden of mess.

Does it have the ability to survive your setting?

Before buying your plant, one important thing to consider is the plants adaptability to your setting. You should really know what plants will thrive in your area and decide on buying those plants. Buying a plant that can’t survive your area might just cause harm to your plant until it eventually withers. So spare yourself the hassle of spending on a plant that can’t survive in your garden setting and start looking for plants that will have that long lasting appeal.

If you are even serious about having a garden with just little space, now is the time you start conceptualizing and thinking what plants to include, keeping in mind that you should be able to create a landscape masterpiece with the little space you have. Choose your plants wisely and achieve that garden you’ve always been dreaming of.

Fall Gardening Tips for the San Diego Gardener

fall gardenSummer is ending soon and for many gardeners, fall is not their favorite season of the year. After all, springtime is the favorite season of the year. It is the time when humans and plants alike love to welcome the warm rays of sunshine. Every living object seems to joyously sprout in this time of the year. However, fall should not hinder you from continuing to nurture a garden. In fact, fall season can have its perks when it comes to gardening.

Take Advantage of Deals in Farmer’s Markets and Garden Centers

Since many people do not find fall as an ideal season to plant, many remainder plants are put up on sales in farmer’s markets and garden centers. Yes, they may look lonely and forgotten in racks but you can always have the choice to take them home and find them a good pace to grow. These plants need nurturing and would do better if planted in gardens than for them to be left on racks.

End of season sales are numerous by late summer. You can find annuals and perennials on sale. Although annuals are good, it would be best to choose perennials instead. They would have greater chances of surviving and thriving during fall season compared to annuals. The good thing about buying plants during sales is that you can always haggle for the price especially if the plant does not look as healthy as it should be.

In addition to plants, many garden tools are also on sale during this time so it would be a good way to invest on several gardening tools especially on expensive ones. You can expect to save as much as 50% or even bigger. Some sellers would even offer “Buy one, get one” deals on plants and small gardening tools.

Fall is Actually an Ideal Season for Planting

autumn gardenNot many people realize this but fall actually makes an ideal time for re-planting, transplanting and planting bulbs. During this time, the ground is warmer and the heat of the sun is not that scorching. When the soil is warm, it is easier to dig and it encourages root growth. Since the heat is not that intense, it would not easily leave the foliage to dry quickly. Plants do not require to be watered as frequently as during summer time.

Young trees, when transplanted during end of summer up to fall, would have greater chances of thriving. Same goes when perennial plants will be divided and re-planted. Bulbs should be planted during falls season in order for them to sprout just in time for spring season. It would be good for perennials and trees to be planted during fall so their roots can have ample time to take hold before winter season freezes them.

Cold Frames and Hot Beds to the Rescue

There are always ways to nurture your plants no matter what the season of the year is. For instance, cold frames can be employed to protect plants from too much cold or from excessive exposure to wet season. It looks like a mini greenhouse with transparent covers or walls to let the light penetrate in.

A hot bed, on the other hand, uses fresh horse manure topped with soil as a garden bed. The decomposition of fresh horse manure releases heat in the ground which protects the plant’s roots from excessive cold. Hot beds are commonly used from fall to winter seasons to help plants survive.

If you want to know more about gardening tips and tricks, it would be best to ask local gardeners in your area. They are familiar with your area’s climate and can also refer resources you need for fall gardening.

Photo Credits: kbowenwritersharon_k

Fertilizer 101: Keeping Your Plants Healthy

plantingIn order to maintain a beautiful-looking or productive garden, you must know that it also takes a lot of effort and patience. You have to put an extra effort in your garden and assess what your garden needs are. Unlike animals and human beings, plants manufacture their own food.

Plants undergo the process called photosynthesis in making their own food. They harness the sun’s rays, water and minerals from the soil for photosynthesis to occur. Plants needs to nourish themselves too with minerals and nutrients but sometimes these things are lacking or have already depleted from the soil that plants have an insufficiency of it.

If these nutrients and minerals are lacking from the soil, your garden plants will not look as healthy as they were supposed to be. This is the part where we put or apply fertilizers to make the soil “fertile” again with the minerals and nutrients that plants need. By doing this, you will be sure that your plants are taking sufficient nutrients for them to grow healthier and greener and more productive.

Fertilizers: Need to Know

It is not as simple as you think fertilizing is. You have to consider some things first before you apply a certain fertilizer, when is the right time in applying it, the process of fertilizer application and most of all, the type or kind of fertilizer to be used.

There are 16 primary elements that plants need in order to grow and be healthy and productive. These primary elements include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and are called macronutrients; the 13 other elements that plants need are called micronutrients. These elements are found in different percentages in different types of fertilizers available in the market today.

Basic Tips in Fertilizing

In applying fertilizers to your garden you should consider these tips to make it easier for you:

  • Soil testing kit. To make sure that you are to go on the right track, it is best that you purchase a soil testing kit to test the soil in the soil bed after it has been tilled.
  • Soil pH level. This is very important to know before you apply fertilizers. If your soil pH is acidic or has a pH of 5.8 or lower, add lime to your garden to balance it. If, on the other hand, your soil is basic or alkaline or has a pH level of 7.2 and higher, you should add aluminum sulfate to the soil.
  • Fertilize when needed. Fertilize your garden depending on the level of nutrients present in the soil. Apply fertilizers to the base of the plants to get it directly to the roots.
  • Go organic. You can use organic fertilizers if you want or prefer. Follow the directions for use in each pack or bag carefully to achieve desired effects and balance nutrients in the soil.

How To: Gardening in San Francisco Soil

soilPlants need more than just water and good temperature to survive. Anyone who has ever gardened knows the importance of a good soil. Whatever it is that you decide to plant will be more likely to thrive if you know the type of soil it should be planted into.

Dealing with San Francisco soil offers lots of challenges for the San Francisco gardener. Basically, the type of soil in San Francisco is greatly affected by the environmental climate.

If you live in a particular area with a soil type that already contains lots of organic matter, then you are lucky enough to start your own garden. If you reside in San Francisco and plan to create your own garden, it is important that you are knowledgeable of certain details such as the following:

Certain Rules Apply

Decide on which type of garden you would want to create. It mainly depends on the location and what type of garden activity you would like to pursue. Home garden, Rooftop garden, Garden on privately-owned land, etc. Research on the codes and regulations governing gardening in San Francisco. Some require a permit before starting certain operations.

San Francisco has Micro-climates

Some of them are known as sunny, foggy, and transition. That’s just to name a few. Choose the right types of plants to grow by researching first before buying.

Watch Out for Fungal Diseases Due to the Cold Weather

The damp condition causes powdery mildew, a fungal disease which a particular problem in edible crops. Be prepared for certain conditions by reading and knowing how to prevent or cure such occurrence.

Keep an Eye on Garden Weeds

Some of the weeds that grow in your fences can be very difficult to remove. It is best to get rid of them in the earliest time possible. Make sure to be blanket mulching as well.

Growing Flowers in San Francisco Requires Patience and Caution

Watering roses should always be underneath and never over head to minimize fungal diseases.

Growing Vegetables Issues

Growing veggies such as broccoli, carrots, and radishes won’t be much of a hassle even when the climate gets foggy. Whereas tomatoes, basil, and corn require sunnier areas.

Growing Tropical Plants Take a Long Process

Growing tropical plants such as bamboo, ferns, orchids, palm trees and banana leaf plants require a process. These should be planted early in early spring time (on the last cold day) so that they can adapt in the coldness of winter. Always choose to grow this type of plants in a sheltered location. Cover these plants when winter season comes.

These are few of the things that you need to know when planning to pursue a gardening activity in San Francisco. From the rules, the cold summer fog, to the lack of summer heat, every San Francisco gardener should be ready to face these challenges.